Dodgers Team News

Dodgers News: NL ROY Frontrunner James Outman’s Dominant Start is For Real, Insiders React

For the first month of the season, it looks like the James Outman experiment is a bona fide success for the Dodgers. He sits at or near the top of the stats leaderboard in several categories among qualified rookie batters. He’s also played exceptional defense for LA at three different outfield positions and is primed to be the Player of the Month in the National League.

Heading into the season, it was a shock to some that the Dodgers were going from a former league MVP in center field to a 25-year-old that had just completed his first full season at the Triple-A level. But now the outside pundits are starting to understand why. For example, ESPN MLB insider Jeff Passan. In a recent column, Passan believes Outman is among those in baseball whose dominant starts to the season pass the smell test.

As in it’s the real deal.

Here’s his blurb on the LA outfielder.

The Dodgers loved Outman because he performed better in every level of the minor leagues, with a wOBA that jumped at every step from Low-A to Triple-A-and thus far this season, it’s at .461, fifth best in the big leagues and better than at all the minor league stops. His ability to play all three outfield positions well allowed them to move Mookie Betts to shortstop.


Will James Outman Win the NL Rookie of the Year Award?

As of now, he’s the clear frontrunner. Of course, there’s still a long way to go.

Also at ESPN, Bradford Doolittle took a look at the ROY competition in the NL and, in his view, Outman is at the top of the list.

Outman’s recent tear has given him clear early separation, though the key word in that declaration is “early” and over the past few days, Arizona’s Corbin Carroll has closed a gap that after last weekend was more like a chasm. … Outman leads rookie NL hitters in just about every major hitting category. His 1.3 fWAR leads all rookies. The Dodgers have featured 14 Rookie of the Year winners since 1960 but haven’t had once since Cody Bellinger in 2017. Maybe they are due.

Final Thoughts

All signs point to Outman’s season so far not being a fluke. Each time the league is appearing to adjust to the rookie, he’s adjusted right back. He’s hit well vs right-handed pitching, he’s hit well vs left. He’s hit well at home and on the road. And, he’s carried the Dodgers so far this season.

It’s just a good time to be James Outman

Clint Pasillas

Clint Pasillas has been writing, blogging, and podcasting about the Los Angeles Dodgers since 2008. Under Clint's leadership as the Lead Editor, Dodgers Nation has grown into one of the most read baseball sites in the world with millions of unique visitors per month. Find him online on Twitter/X or his YouTube channel!

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